California fires leave 31 dead, a vast landscape charred, and a sky full of soot.

The reach of the blazes is spreading dramatically further by the day, as thick plumes of smoke blow through population centers across the Bay Area.

SONOMA, Calif. — Some of the worst wildfires ever to tear through California have killed 31 people and torched a vast area of the state’s north this week, but the reach of the blazes is spreading dramatically further by the day, as thick plumes of smoke blow through population centers across the Bay Area.

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Justice

The end of coal will haunt the Navajo.

Percy Deal, 67, lives in the same small, three-bedroom stone house he grew up in, situated in the remote Navajo village of Cactus Valley, Ariz. Like many homes in this part of the country, Deal’s lacks running water, so once a month, he drives his pickup truck 17 miles to a public pump, where he fills three 55-gallon drums to bring back home. On the living room wall, his father’s ceremonial feathers and sweat-stained cowboy hat hang over the couch next to a framed poem his father wrote, titled Endless. The second stanza reads: “Your heart and your roots tell a perpetual story of the love and harmony you and Mother Earth share.” His family has been on this land for 500 years.

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Toxics

Napa fires make San Francisco air worse than Beijing, causing a run on masks.

NAPA, Calif. — Home Depot is sold out of face masks, people sleeping in shelters have bandanas tied around their faces and residents even 50 miles away from the fires in northern California find themselves coughing and hacking as smoke and haze blanket the area.

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Climate

Wildfires: How they form, and why they're so dangerous.

As deadly wildfires continue to rage across Northern California’s wine country, with winds picking up speed overnight and worsening conditions to now include a combined 54,000 acres of torched land, it now seems more important than ever to understand how wildfires work, and their lasting implications on our health and the environment.

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Toxics

The toxic air covering Northern California.

“It is completely unsafe to be here at this moment,” said Jennifer Franco, a resident of Fairfield, California, on Wednesday afternoon, as massive wildfires ripped through Santa Rosa and Napa a few miles west. But she wasn’t talking about the flames—she was talking about the smoke. Accelerated by high-speed seasonal winds, ash-laden air was blowing eastward, directly into her neighborhood. “Since Tuesday morning, air quality is beyond terrible,” she said. “I’ve been having chest pain, and now I’m using a respirator.”

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Climate

In cities, it's the smoke, not the fire, that will get you.

NO ONE KNOWS what sparked the violent fires ablaze in the hills of California wine country. In the last five days, the flames have torched more than 160,000 acres across Napa and Sonoma counties, reducing parts of Santa Rosa to piles of cinder and ash and leaving more than 20 dead and hundreds missing. And far from the white-hot embers of destruction, residents from San Francisco to Sacramento to Fresno have been waking up this week to choking fumes, commuting to work under skies tinged orange with dust and soot.

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More evidence for a link between Caesarean sections and obesity.

Better childbirth

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Editorial

A dirty power plan.

Our Opinion: A dirty power plan

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Climate

What needs to be done to stop wildfires in drought-killed forests.

WITH 17 LARGE wildfires in California igniting in 24 hours this week, October is shaping up to be a brutal month for wildfires, as it often is. It’s too soon to know what caused multiple conflagrations spreading across Northern California’s wine country, but elsewhere in the state dead and dying trees have been the subject of much concern. The five-year drought in California killed more than 102 million trees on national forest lands. That is a gigantic problem in itself that will lead to huge wildfire risks in the future and big changes in wildlife habitat.

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Climate

The next big battlegrounds.

When U.S. EPA boss Scott Pruitt inks his proposal to ax the Clean Power Plan today, the epic brawl over the Obama-era climate rule will be nowhere near over.

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Toxics

Even third-hand smoke poses health risks.

Yes, there is such a thing as thirdhand smoke and it’s more dangerous than you think.

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Toxics

Here’s one more reason to be scared of cheap sushi.

WASHINGTON — Yet another alarm is being raised about the dangers posed by a staple of local cuisine — seafood.

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Toxics

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announces withdrawal of Clean Power Plan.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday his agency's plans to withdraw the Clean Power Plan, the sweeping Obama-era rule regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

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Editorial

Maine will suffer from EPA chief's pro-coal stand.

A warming climate and polluted air are all we have to gain from keeping dirty power plants running.

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Climate

Scott Pruitt says EPA will repeal Clean Power Plan Tuesday.

By Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis October 9 at 4:07 PM Follow @eilperin Follow @brady_dennis

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Bhopal nocturne

35 years after the chemical industry's worst accident, have we learned any lessons? A petrochemical buildout along the Ohio River suggests we haven't.

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